Do you milk your bad days? I do…

Bad days in our house usually end with pizza.

A couple of weeks ago, our bad day landed conveniently on a Friday (when we often do pizza anyways). Josh had a grueling day, I had an exhausting day as a mom, and Corra was miserable from teething. Neither Josh nor I had the energy to cook or clean up dishes afterwards. So we decided to order a take-n-bake pizza from a nearby place. I called in our order, and the gal on the other end said it would be done in 10-15 minutes. Josh took Corra with him to get her out of the house, and I finished up some tasks at home. Thirty minutes later, I called my husband and asked them what their status was. He still didn’t have our pizza, and several other people who came in after them had already left with their pizzas. I could sense the frustration in the tone of his voice.

Another 15 minutes later, I called him again. He was finally on his way home and almost in the garage. When he walked in the door he had the pure look of defeat in his eyes. He let out a loud, exasperated sigh (which Corra mimicked immediately) and told me that he had no pizza. When he had finally received our pizza, he went out to the car and put the pizza on top of the car while he put Corra in the car seat. He was still so frustrated that it had taken so long to get our pizza that he got in the car and drove away without thinking about the pizza. Hence, by the time he got home, there was no pizza. It had flown off the roof and into the night somewhere between the pizza joint and our house, never to be found again (except it was…ha ha!).

I, being the wife who likes to solve problems and get what we paid for, took the keys from my husband (who was feeling pretty lousy after this already hard day) and drove back to the pizza place. I was going to save this bad day if it was the last thing I did. I was going to rescue all of us (especially my poor husband) from this bad day. I had to tell myself in the car on the way there, “Sierra, be kind. Have grace for these new employees at this new pizza place that just opened last week. Be kind.) When I got there, I explained what happened, and they did have sympathy. I might have mentioned (mostly in a kind and calm manner) that the reason he left it on the roof was because he was so frustrated with how long our pizza took. I then said, “You’ll have it out in 5 minutes, right? THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

I brought the pizza home safe and sound, and the rest of our evening went pretty smoothly.

I recently read quote on Facebook from Toby Mac that just really hit me about my “bad days.”

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Wow. Wait…Who?… Me? No….my bad days really are awful, horrible, no good days. Everything about them is bad. Once something bad happens, that day can’t get better or be redeemed…

Or can it?

I am a milker. I admit it. I milk my bad days. I think, “Woe is me that Corra spilled her cereal twice, and I can’t keep up with the laundry! Woe is me that I didn’t get to shower, and I forgot to bake cookies for an event today! No one has it harder than I do.” I’m kidding myself. My days don’t have to be defined by the hard things unless I let them. What if I decided to focus on the good things instead? Like Corra learning a new word, having a toddler dance party, seeing her joy as she goes down the slide, getting to FaceTime with grandpas and grandmas, snuggling Corra when she is teething, or getting to have a fun play date with friends. There are so many things in one day that are wonderful and glorifying to God. What if I let the joy of the Lord carry me through the day rather than giving up on it at the first blow? I often have hard days as a mom and think that nothing good can come of this ruined day. But I have been thinking wrongly. I want to be positive and uplifting to those around me, especially my daughter.  I need to be for her sake. Can I have joy on a hard day? Only by God’s grace…

Let me just say, I am not trying to say that no one should have a bad day (I don’t think TobyMac is either)–that everything should feel great or wonderful all the time. That is not real life. Real life is hard and messy. Obviously people who go through tragedies, illness, or other hard things do have really bad days. The day I found out my mom had cancer last year was an extremely hard day, and I don’t think anyone would argue with me about that. Those who are grieving will continue to have hard days now and then. Even some of our normal, day-to-day lives are hard. We all have bad days, but are we focusing too much on the bad? Can we look to the Lord to carry our burdens and bring us joy by just knowing He is there through it all? He loves us and wants us to trust Him to be our peace and joy in the hard times. What a comfort!

Here are few Bible passages on joy that I am learning to dwell upon during my hard days. I hope they can bring your comfort as well:

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You because You have redeemed me.

Psalms 71:23

When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.

Psalms 94:19

The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord , and the poor people will rejoice

in the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 29:19

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James 1:2-3
These are some of the ways I am learning to turn my “milking” and “moping” into redeemed days of joy:
1. Praying. I need to do this so much more. Every time I take the time to say a quick prayer for my day, I have so much peace. It is worth talking to God about what is going on in my heart.
2. Slowing down and breathing. Some days I like to just sit on my couch and look out the window while drinking my tea or coffee. I ponder life. I watch God’s creation outside, and it reminds me that amidst all the bad in this world, God has created a lot of GOOD.
3. Getting outside. Simply taking a walk with Corra outside for 15-20 minutes improves my mood so much for the day. Sometimes we even go for a walk twice in a day!
4. Doing something I love. I love to bake, read, and work on crafts. I try to find time to do these things during my day because they bring me joy–even if it is only for 15 minutes.
5. Relationships. On hard days, I try to meet up with someone, have a play date, or call a friend or family member. Just talking to them lifts my spirits because I remember that I have a community that loves me. This also sometimes includes helping someone else with their bad day. It helps me to put my bad day into perspective when I take the time to text an encouraging note to a struggling friend, bring a meal or coffee to a friend in need, or sitting and listening to another friend share their hard day with me. We can lift one another up in love.
So instead of dwelling on your bad day…look to Jesus and all that He has done for you. There is joy simply in knowing that someday we will no longer have hard days. Look for the redeeming moments on those hard days. Be thankful. Love one another. It is easier said than done, but with God’s help, he can turn our mourning into dancing!
Now enjoy some joyful pictures of a little girl who is filled with wonder and fills me with utter delight!
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4 thoughts on “Do you milk your bad days? I do…

  1. Beautiful writing, I’m looking forward to reading many of your words. You are created to create and you bless all you touch.
    Blessings on you and your household, Sierra!
    Candace

    Like

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